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4 + 2: The Secret Code to Superior Business Performance

If you’re rolling your eyes at yet another claim to a "secret code” or the “magic pill” to gain business success this post is for you. It turns out there really is a key to superior business performance and the intelligent minds at Harvard Business School have found it.

Over the years, management ideas, tools and techniques have come and gone. Different approaches and theories have been implemented sometimes to the success of the user, other times…not so much. Harvard Business School wanted to know which management practices really work? They carefully examined more than 200 well-established management practices as they were employed over a 10-year period by 160 companies.


1. Strategy

Your product must be sharply defined, clearly communicated and well understood by employees, customers, partners and investors.

2. Execution

Develop and maintain flawless operational execution.

3. Culture

Holding and nurturing high expectations matters most.

4. Structure

Reduce bureaucracy and simplify work.

In addition to these four basics they had a mastery of any two out of the four secondary management practices:

1. Talent

Hold on to talented employees and develop more.

2. Innovation

An agile company turns out innovative products and services and anticipates disruptive events in an industry rather than reacting when it may already be too late.

3. Leadership

Great leadership can raise performance significantly.

4. Mergers and Partnerships

Some winning companies mastered mergers.

Winner, loser, climber or tumbler – the level of your success is defined by your grasp of the basic four plus mastery in two of the secondary practices, hence: 4 + 2.

So now you know the secret to superior business performance.

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Image Source: Unveil Church


Michael Krause


Michael Krause

Mike Krause is the president and founder of Sales Sense Solutions, Inc. where he delivers measurable results with his clients using Fortune 500 strategies, tactics, and tools. The company’s mission is to customize Fortune 500 sales experience and success systems for small and mid-sized companies. Krause is an in-demand speaker and has received numerous awards for his acclaimed training programs.


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